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Ask Leo! #373 – Setting up your home network, no signal, dropping laptops and more…

The Ask Leo! Newsletter

*** Featured

How should I set up my home network?

You just bought your second computer. Perhaps you purchased a new laptop, a tablet, a new machine for your spouse, or maybe just another machine for yourself. Perhaps you just want to connect your smartphone via WiFi when you're at home to reduce the usage of your mobile data plan.

You'd like to be able to connect them all to the internet and it'd also be nice to be able to share things, like printers or extra disk space, among your machines.

You, my friend, need a LAN, or Local Area Network. There are lots of ways to set one up; I'll review the basic setup for the most common case.

Already have a network, but not sure how to grow it? I'll look at that too.

Continue reading: How should I set up my home network?
http://ask-leo.com/C1908

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*** Answercast

Answercast #36 – Dropping laptops, leaving them running, upgrading, uninstalling, wrong passwords, libraries and more...
Can you leave laptops running? And what happens when you drop them! Typing your password right, uninstalling programs and games, swapping partitions, organizing libraries and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!
Continue reading: Answercast #36 – Dropping laptops, leaving them running, upgrading, uninstalling, wrong passwords, libraries and more...
http://ask-leo.com/C5594

Should I upgrade to Windows 8?
It's too soon to be thinking about upgrading to Windows 8. Better to wait until it is released, and then start thinking about it.
Continue reading: Should I upgrade to Windows 8?
http://ask-leo.com/C5595

How do I set up access for my iPad or laptop if there's no WiFi where I'm visiting?
Setting up a WiFi connection while traveling requires some equipment. I walk through a few options for staying connected in a remote area.
Continue reading: How do I set up access for my iPad or laptop if there's no WiFi where I'm visiting?
http://ask-leo.com/C5596

My headphones stopped working, what do I do?
Headphones not working? I work through the proper steps to see what is broken or turned off in the system.
Continue reading: My headphones stopped working, what do I do?
http://ask-leo.com/C5597

I dropped my laptop and my hard drive now seems flaky. Should I replace it?
Intermittent hard drive failure is not a good sign. First, backup, and then we'll go through some steps to get it fixed.
Continue reading: I dropped my laptop and my hard drive now seems flaky. Should I replace it?
http://ask-leo.com/C5598

Can I leave a laptop running all the time?
I can't tell you what kind of a computer to buy as there are too many variables. But leaving a laptop running has only a few small issues to think about.
Continue reading: Can I leave a laptop running all the time?
http://ask-leo.com/C5599

Why does my computer keep asking for my password even though I type in the correct one?
A password not working could mean so many things. We look at passwords for the computer, for administrator access, and even for email accounts.
Continue reading: Why does my computer keep asking for my password even though I type in the correct one?
http://ask-leo.com/C5600

Does Windows 7's uninstall have a problem? I can't uninstall AVG.
Windows 7 uninstall works just fine. There may be other issues with that specific program. Here are several troubleshooting steps to try.
Continue reading: Does Windows 7's uninstall have a problem? I can't uninstall AVG.
http://ask-leo.com/C5601

Can I swap how my C: and D: drives are used?
It's not easy to switch a D drive to a C drive without a complete reinstall. Changing the size of partitions is a better method.
Continue reading: Can I swap how my C: and D: drives are used?
http://ask-leo.com/C5602

Why does my monitor show "No Signal" sometimes during boot?
Windows has stopped sending a signal to your monitor. It's probably crashing randomly, I explore what that means.
Continue reading: Why does my monitor show "No Signal" sometimes during boot?
http://ask-leo.com/C5603

If deleted files remain in the Recycle Bin, has any disk space been freed?
Deleting program files (including games) is not a good way to remove a program from your computer. It needs to be done properly.
Continue reading: If deleted files remain in the recycle bin has any disk space been freed?
http://ask-leo.com/C5604

Can I have a file appear in more than one library or folder at the same time?
Managing files in libraries and/or folders can be done in a number of different ways: I explore a few.
Continue reading: Can I have a file appear in more than one library or folder at the same time?
http://ask-leo.com/C5605

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Comments

Why you should never blindly trust an online recommendation (even mine)

Dennis Blackburn writes:

Leo, I trust your recommendations...mostly. What I do when I read reviews is try to sort them in a bell curve. I tend to dismiss (after reading them of course) the highest and the lowest and shoot for the middle reviews. I feel they give me a better understanding of the product overall. And I look for reviews on more than one site. Keep up the good work. I enjoy your articles and am always eager to learn something new.

Sounds like a reasonable approach. I like the bell-curve analogy.

-Leo

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My machine doesn't even beep or begin to boot - what do I do?

John writes:

Good advice as always, Leo - I had a pc in for repair last month with an almost identical problem: It had been running for years as the family pc, sitting near the floor, in a house with several cats...
All the vents were totally clogged with hair & dust & the owner (a close friend of mine) had described classic symptoms of overheating
The pc wouldn't boot at all when I hooked it up to power, mouse, keyboard & monitor in my office & I suspected a dead motherboard from the beginning Because it belonged to a good friend I treated it as a project more than a business transaction, and over the next couple of weeks I tried changing every piece of hardware one after the other, including the motherboard & cpu, with no success! The Hard drive was fine, by the way, I tested that first :-) I don't know why I did it, but I think I'd borrowed the usb mouse for another machine & pressed the start button on the problem pc without thinking - Lo & behold it sprang info life! Well a few more tests confirmed that the (brand new) mouse was faulty: If it was plugged into any usb port, then windows wouldn't start, if I started the pc without the mouse, Windows would start, although I could plug in the mouse afterwards & it would work fine... Once another new mouse was found the pc booted & ran fine - The lessons I re-learned from this 'project' are: Don't dismiss the basics, Be methodical and change things one at a time, testing after each change, change the cheapest things first!

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Who do I talk to to get Windows Mail re-released?

Dan writes:

I am an old geezer that does not always enjoy being forced to change the way I work with programs, but usually find out that once I get used to the new ways of doing things, I am better off. I understand the anger and confusion, but one way of keeping your mind sharp is keeping it active by learning new things. Like Leo said - there are many email aps out there - if you don't like the one you are stuck with, then find another one you would like. That is how the market works! Software companies don't owe you anything. It is too expensive to keep up old versions of software AND develop new versions. I admit that sometimes they get it wrong (Edsel, Windows ME, Vista), but a lot of times they get it right - if you just give it a chance and work with it! It took me a little time to figure out the new way Office 2007 worked (after using 97 for so many years) - I was slow at finding what I wanted - but once I got used to the new way, I wondered why they didn't do it like that from the start - much more productive with the newer look!

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My printer stopped printing, what do I do?

Mark J writes:

That clear the printer queue suggestion is definitely a magic bullet, and the first thing I do when people have problems printing. In 89-90% of the cases I've cleared it, the problem was solved. So I'd say, try that before doing anything else. It might save you a lot of time.

*** Leo Recommends

CCleaner - Windows Cleaning Tool

CCleaner's been around a long time and with good reason: it provides several very valuable and useful functions.

Several of CCleaner's functions may well duplicate some tools that you already have, but its primary claim to fame is its ability to clean up files, history, and other things from your computer that you might not need or want to keep around.

It lives up to its name as a cleaner.

Continue reading: CCleaner - Windows Cleaning Tool
http://ask-leo.com/C5033

Each week I recommend a specific product or resource that I've found valuable and that I think you may as well. What does my recommendation mean?

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